Did You Know That…
- An estimated 100,000 adults in Marion County read at the lowest level of literacy, based on state literacy survey statistics and local census data.
- The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as an individual’s ability to read, write, speak English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.
- Literacy is defined as a person’s ability to read, write and speak English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society. Literacy is a direct contributor to achieving one’s goals, developing one’s knowledge, and increasing one’s self-sufficiency.
- Functionally illiterate individuals can’t fill out a job application, read a prescription, take a driver’s test, or check their child’s homework. Illiteracy impacts the individual and the family. It is difficult to work, and near impossible to be self-sufficient. Illiteracy is linked to poverty, criminal activity, poor health, and early death. A parent’s literacy level accurately predicts a child’s future academic and economic success.
- The Department of Labor estimates that illiteracy costs businesses and taxpayers $225 billion a year through workplace accidents, lost productivity, unrealized tax revenues, welfare payments, and crime.
- Illiteracy affects us all, especially through the taxes we pay to support social services. Adults with low literacy skills are more likely to live in poverty, be unemployed or underemployed, receive Medicaid, and depend upon food stamps and other public assistance.
- The American Medical Association is concerned that individuals with low literacy skills are at risk of not being able to understand prescription bottles and other medical information, resulting in increased incidents of medication and treatment errors and higher rates of hospitalization.
- The Department of Justice reports that nearly 70% of people in state correctional facilities have not completed high school and 14% have had no high school education. According to the report “Literacy Behind Prison Walls,” 70% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate or read below the 4th-grade level.
- The National Center for Family Literacy reports that research shows children’s literacy levels are strongly linked to the literacy levels of their parents, especially their mothers. Literate adults raise healthier and more successful children.